This weekend was the first "Los Dells," a Latin music festival near the Wisconsin Dells that organizers hope will become as regular — and popular — as Coachella and Lollapalooza. Los Dells brought Latinos and other Latin music fans to Mauston, Wis., over Labor Day weekend to hear performers like Maná, Daddy Yankee, Prince Royce, Sofia Reyes and Los Tucanes de Tijuana.
Music styles included bachata (a dance and music style from the Dominican Republic), rock, banda (a Mexican music style heavy on brass and percussion) and electronic dance music.
The site, surrounded by farmland, became a venue for artists that don't often appear in the area. People from cities including Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and the Twin Cities traveled to the festival, and many camped on-site.
"It's very nice to see the community here and the representation of the music," said Elisa de la Torre of Blaine, Minn. De la Torre, a school teacher who was born in Mexico, said although this didn't it feel like home exactly, the importance of having community in the Midwest is nice.
Salvador Rodriguez-Pena was there celebrating his birthday. "I feel at home, I'm with the people I grew up with and the people I identify myself with," he said.
"This is the best festival. The Latin community is a resource, a needed resource for the economy," he added. "Imagine you have a beautiful tree and the shade of the tree is just as important as the tree itself. Latinos, we are like the shade of the great economy tree of this country."
Many artists showed their support for immigrants as they performed during the two-day event. "Latinos are warriors and we bring that in our DNA, nobody does it like us. I think at the end of the day, the most important thing to do is unite. We will keep being here, because we belong here," said Mexican singer Victoria La Mala.
Festival founder Damon Zumwalt announced that at least $500,000 in proceeds would go to Harvey victims in Texas.